The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill has not quite finished its Parliamentary journey but if the House of Lords deal with the final amendment swiftly, it will then move on for Royal assent. It seems very likely that the final stages will pass without any major hiccups.
Interestingly the Lord Chancellor told MPs that the Bill’s reforms will not come into force on Royal assent “because time needs to be allowed for careful implementation”. It is anticipated that the new Bill will come into force in the Autumn of 2021. What exactly the “careful implementation” means is not quite clear. However, in reality the existing system will continue to be in force for another 16 months or so.
The reflection period of 26 weeks continues to raise a few eyebrows among divorce lawyers. In most other countries that have a reflection, or cooling down period, it is enforced before the divorce process is started. In this case it is afterwards, which brings into question whether it is a case of “closing the stable door after the horse has bolted”?
Anyway, we will continue to track the process of the implementation of the Bill. Please see our earlier blog, Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill, for full details about what the Bill changes in terms of the divorce process.
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Family Law Team – rhw Solicitors.